Slovenia woke up to a new prime minister on Monday (April 25) morning, after populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa lost a national election on Sunday (April 24) evening to the environmentalist Freedom Movement party led by Robert Golob.
Jansa, who had hoped to win a fourth term in office, conceded that he had been defeated in the vote, adding however that his SDS party had secured more votes than ever before.
Ljubljana resident, Gal Drnovsek, was intrigued with the election result, saying he was expecting a change for the better and “anything is better than it was before.”
However, Martina Starbek who voted for Jansa, was disappointed in the results, saying “I was very happy with the government.”
The election had been expected to be tight but the official preliminary figures showed the Freedom Movement, a newcomer in the election, leading with 34.34% of the vote, far more than expected, while the SDS secured 23.83%, based on 98.20% of counted ballots.
The turnout in the vote, in which some 1.7 million people were eligible to cast their ballots in the small Alpine country that is a member of the European Union and the NATO military alliance, was 68%, the election commission said.
Experts said that was well above the national average. Many people interviewed by Reuters said they wanted change.
In order to form a government, Freedom Movement is expected to form a coalition with the left-leaning Social Democrats and Left parties, which are currently set to have together 12 seats in parliament.